SD Art Prize 2022 Exhibition at the Central Library.

The four recipients of the 2022 San Diego Art Prize–Alida Cervantes, Angélica Escoto, Carlos Castro Arias and Cognate Collective–now have pieces of their visual artwork on display in the 9th floor Art Gallery at downtown’s Central Library.

The four artists explore aspects of our region’s history and culture. Of course, today’s border culture has been greatly cross-pollinated by thousands of residents flowing daily to and from the United States and Mexico.

As you might expect in a contemporary exhibition of this type, there is infusion of political bias. But it’s a variety of viewpoints what makes free expression in art interesting and provocative.

I was fascinated to see how art that condemns the history of colonization is displayed next to art that celebrates the fusion and evolution of cultures. On either side of the San Diego/Tijuana border crossing, many of today’s traditions have influences that can be traced back to old Spain.

Walk among the gallery pieces and perhaps you’ll see the world in new and complex ways.

The exhibition opened over the weekend. It will continue through the end of 2022.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Comic-Con exhibit at San Diego Library.

An exhibit at San Diego’s Central Library, on display during 2022 Comic-Con, traces the history of dime novels, pulp fiction, comics and graphic novels.

The fascinating display can be enjoyed on the Central Library’s 9th floor, in the Rare Books room containing their Special Collections.

Some important and rare works are on view, and descriptions provide insight into the history of each popular medium.

If you happen to be passing by the Central Library with its lattice metal dome during Comic-Con, head up the elevator to the rooftop! And go through the door you see in the next photograph!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The Buses Are Coming at the Quartyard!

An exhibit of national importance opens this weekend at the Quartyard outdoor venue in San Diego’s East Village.

The Buses Are Coming celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Featured are historical photographs and the stories of those who participated.

The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists. Sitting freely on interstate buses wherever they pleased, they rode into states where Supreme Court rulings against segregation on buses were being ignored. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA) is hosting this inspiring exhibition through September 7, 2022. Everyone is freely invited to view The Buses Are Coming when the Quartyard is open to the public.

To learn more about this exhibit at the art-filled Quartyard, which hopefully many Comic-Con participants next month will visit, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Black history celebrated on San Diego’s Market Street.

John Franklin Ritchey. First Black player for the San Diego Padres.

A series of street lamp banners celebrating Black History in San Diego can be observed on Market Street, between Sixth Avenue and Tenth Avenue. Depicted are eight notable pioneers of downtown!

If you’d like to learn about many of our city’s Black pioneers, entrepreneurs, sports heroes and others who’ve contributed to our city’s rich history, here’s a good page to visit!

To see a timeline of Black history in San Diego, check this page out!

Sylura Barron. Civic leader and women’s rights activist.
Jasper Davis. Second Black police officer in San Diego.
Blossom Lorraine Van Lowe. First Black teacher in San Diego.
Dr. Robert Matthews. Educator and civil rights activist.
Rebecca Craft. Founder of Black Women’s Civic League.
George A. Ramsey. Entrepreneur and business owner.
Dr. Jack Kimbrough. President of NAACP, San Diego, 1947.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Big new Rafael López mural in East Village!

Wow! Look at this!

I saw that a huge new mural is now being painted in San Diego’s East Village neighborhood. Drivers coming into downtown via F Street can’t miss it! The colorful mural can be seen on the new high-rise building west of 14th Street adjacent to the Urban Discovery Academy.

And the mural’s designer is unmistakably internationally renowned San Diego artist and illustrator Rafael López!

I should’ve wandered around a bit more to explore further, but I had a specific destination this morning. If I do learn more, I’ll provide an update. If you happen to know more about this amazing mural, please leave a comment!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Padres home Opening Day fun downtown!

There’s a big party today in downtown San Diego. It’s home Opening Day for the San Diego Padres!

(As I type this the Padres lead the World Champion Braves 9-0!)

I walked through the Gaslamp Quarter and East Village in the early morning, and again after work while the game was already underway.

In addition to some cool lowriders, I saw fans hanging around Petco Park, coming together to watch the game around food and drink, enjoying the early evening, and anticipating a big 2022 baseball season!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Padres downtown excitement on Opening Day!

It’s Major League Baseball’s big Opening Day!

Lots of excited San Diego baseball fans were converging on Petco Park to watch the first Padres game (which is being played in Arizona) on the big screen at Gallagher Square. Before the game began, some favorite Padres legends–including Hoffy, Randy Jones and Uncle Teddy–were talking baseball and the new season.

I walked randomly around to capture a little bit of the excitement. After checking out the ballpark, and parts of East Village and the Gaslamp, I headed home. But I did capture a few fun photographs!

(As I post these photos, Pads have taken a 1-0 lead over the D-Backs! Go Padres!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

It’s almost Time to Shine at Petco Park!

There are many reasons for optimism this year when it comes to our San Diego Padres baseball team. The potential is there for a very successful 2022 season.

And Opening Day is only a couple weeks away!

I walked around Petco Park this morning and in the early evening, just to see what preparations might be underway.

From Gallagher Square I noticed the bright green field looks immaculate. Walking around the ballpark, I saw that many new signs and graphics are coming.

What I also discovered was the Padres plan to shine!

Because it’s now TIME TO SHINE!

UPDATE!

I saw a huge, very cool Time to Shine mural on Petco Park after the season had begun.

As I finally get around to posting this newer photo in mid-June, the Padres are in first place, half a game ahead of the Dodgers!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Tour of new UC San Diego Park & Market!

A sneak peek was enjoyed yesterday inside the new UC San Diego Park & Market building, in downtown’s East Village neighborhood!

The special public tour was part of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s big annual Open House event.

UC San Diego Park & Market is designed to be a collaborative hub where students, researchers, community organizations and business partners will interact in the heart of the city. It will also feature space for private conferences and events, and high quality entertainment venues for the public.

Once completed, the building will be home to a digital movie theater, a top notch black box theater, a small art gallery, a bistro, and a huge two-sided video wall that can be enjoyed inside on the ground floor and from the Market Street sidewalk!

This unique, truly visionary multi-use facility will have its grand opening in a couple months during Cinco de Mayo. It sounds like the celebration will be epic!

During yesterday’s tour led by Mary Walshok, UC San Diego Associate Vice Chancellor, several floors of the innovative building were explored. We learned about its conception and development. One of its most important qualities is its location next to a UC San Diego Blue Line trolley station, connecting this extension of UCSD to the main La Jolla campus, providing students easy accessibility.

As you can see from my upcoming photographs, Park & Market will certainly become a stimulating cultural destination for people living downtown and around San Diego. Numerous future events and festivals are being planned. I can’t wait!

Please read my photo captions to learn a little more about this amazing project!

The next photo shows the public plaza north of the building, adjacent to the new The Merian apartment tower. It’s where our tour group gathered.

Two fantastic murals by regional artists can be found in the inviting space. I posted photos of both murals back in January here.

Standing on the second floor terrace north of the building, with downtown views in several directions. (I didn’t photograph it, but one can see Balboa Park’s California Tower in the distance from here, too!)
About to enter the second floor of the glassy building.
Outside art is by Tammy Matthews, artist from New South Wales, Australia. Taranora, 2020. Original painting adapted to steel screen.
The second floor was busy! A private conference had been booked, even before the building’s official opening! We next headed left to the digital movie theater.
Inside the cozy theater, which will be operated by acclaimed Digital Gym Cinema.
A small gallery on the second floor, near the top of a grand staircase leading to the ground floor. The debut exhibition concerns UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection. (I’ve blogged about many of these outdoor UCSD public artworks in the past.)
Nearby windows look down on downtown San Diego’s busy Market Street.
Mary Walshok addresses the group as we stand near the top of the fantastic staircase.
Looking down!
Now we’re downstairs on the ground floor, after taking the elevators. This big black door is the entrance to the black box theater, where there will be concerts and diverse performances. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go inside.
Emerging near the bottom of the spiraling staircase!
A bistro will be located here. People can come off the street, dine, sip and hang out. The bistro operator, we were told, has one of the largest vinyl record collections in San Diego!
Making our way across the large space near the Market Street entrance. That big black thing is a two-sided computerized video screen! Events can be streamed live from the UCSD amphitheater and other venues. Proposed users include Comic-Con and the San Diego Symphony! Folks walking down the sidewalk can stop to watch outside, too!
Pretty cool, huh?
Chairs and tables can be set up here. UC San Diego Park & Market will utilize technology to connect people in new and stimulating ways.
Finally, we headed to the fourth floor, the research center, where students engaged in projects, and people from academia, non-profits and private business will rub elbows, interact and collaborate. There are many small offices for faculty and community organizations. We didn’t visit the third floor, where classrooms are located.
A view up Park Boulevard from one extraordinary new building!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Unexpected magic inside Space 4 Art!

Unexpected magic can be discovered inside an old East Village warehouse.

The apparently unremarkable brick building is the surprising home of Space 4 Art’s artist studios!

I’ve walked near the old warehouse several times in the past, taking photos of murals on the building’s exterior, but I had no idea that rampant creativity could be found behind those walls!

Thanks to Space 4 Art’s “Open Studio” event this evening, which was combined with the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual Open House San Diego, I and other curious folk could look into the studios and meet friendly artists.

I learned that Space 4 Art provides affordable creative space for local artists, and acts as a neighborhood cultural center, engaging in educational outreach, particularly for youth from underserved communities.

The dream is big. They want to build a large-scale multidisciplinary Arts Center in San Diego. Want to help out? Read more about the Space 4 Art mission here! Read about their history here!

Now, do you want to see what lies behind those murals painted on the old warehouse at 340 16th Street? (A few of which can be seen on a black brick wall here.)

Take a look!

Inside the cool old warehouse. Magic awaits around every corner.
Richard is a friendly artist who creates beautiful custom ceramic pieces. Learn more about his amazing artwork here!
A peek inside another one of the studios.
One hallway wall is covered with these surprising antique clocks. In many cases, small scenes such as the one above can be found inside the clockwork.
This awesome cathedral-like creation made of crutches stands at one end of a studio work area. I learned the sculpture is for sale. Any hospitals out there need some unique artwork?
Everywhere you turn at Space 4 Art, magic produced by local artists appears.
Feeling creative?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!